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Optimal pricing of a conspicuous product during a recession that freezes capital markets

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Author Info

  • Caulkins, J.P.
  • Feichtinger, G.
  • Grass, D.
  • Hartl, R.F.
  • Kort, P.M.
  • Seidl, A.

Abstract

This paper considers the problem of how to price a conspicuous product when the economy is in a recession that disrupts capital markets. A conspicuous product in this context is a luxury good for which demand is increasing in brand image. Brand image here means the ability of a consumer to impress observers by conspicuously displaying consumption of the good. Brand image is built up when the good is priced high enough to make it exclusive, and eroded if the good is discounted. Recession is modeled as having two effects: it reduces demand and it freezes capital markets so borrowing is not possible. In pricing the conspicuous product the firm faces the following trade-off. Reducing price helps maintain sales volume and cash flow in the face of reduced demand, but it also damages brand image and thus long-term demand. The paper analyzes the firm's pricing policy facing scenarios of mild, intermediate and severe recessions, while taking the threat of bankruptcy into account. For an intermediate recession the optimal solution is history-dependent. The results have implications for policy interventions in capital markets and for timing of mergers and acquisitions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 163-174

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:163-174

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

Related research

Keywords: Pricing Recession Conspicuous product Optimal control Skiba point;

References

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  1. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  2. Haunschmied, Josef L. & Kort, Peter M. & Hartl, Richard F. & Feichtinger, Gustav, 2003. "A DNS-curve in a two-state capital accumulation model: a numerical analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 701-716, February.
  3. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 1999. "Segmented communication and fashionable behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 371-385, July.
  4. Bagwell, Laurie Simon & Bernheim, B Douglas, 1996. "Veblen Effects in a Theory of Conspicuous Consumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 349-73, June.
  5. Coelho, Philip R P & McClure, James E, 1993. "Toward an Economic Theory of Fashion," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 595-608, October.
  6. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2005. "Conspicuous Consumption and Sophisticated Thinking," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1449-1466, October.
  7. Bianchi, Marina, 2002. "Novelty, preferences, and fashion: when goods are unsettling," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-18, January.
  8. Frijters, Paul, 1998. "A model of fashions and status," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 501-517, October.
  9. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2010. "Reference Groups and Product Line Decisions: An Experimental Investigation of Limited Editions and Product Proliferation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 621-644, April.
  10. Wilfred Amaldoss & Sanjay Jain, 2008. "—Trading Up: A Strategic Analysis of Reference Group Effects," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 932-942, 09-10.
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